Finish: The 88 Store, Ocala National Forest
Distance: 217.4 miles (349.9 km)
Time: 7 days (December 24-30, 2011)
Daily Average: 31.1 miles (50 km)
Total Distance: 651.1 miles (1047.7 km)
- Suwannee River: Despite the low water levels, the section along the Suwannee made for pleasant walking.
- Sunset over Ocean pond.
- A bear sighting close to Hoffman’s Crossing, just south of SR100.
- Camera: The last of my camera batteries died just before White Springs. Due to a mix up with resupply boxes, I was without a functioning camera from White Springs through to Paisley.
Notes & Musings:
- Hunting Season: My most important piece of gear for the FT was not a pack, sleeping bag or shelter. It was instead a $12 blaze orange vest which I wore almost every day of my walk. Orange clothing of some description is an absolute must during hunting season. Indeed, during the first 80% of the hike I must have seen 30 or 40 hunters for every one hiker. Most of the hunters were pretty cool and I didn’t have a single issue throughout my entire walk. One thing I did notice, however, was that virtually all of them (at least 90 %) were overweight. The bulk of their hunting seemed to be done from their pickup trucks. This was in contrast to hunters I met in the Appalachians, whom for the most part seemed to be stalking their prey the old fashioned way, ie. on foot. The conclusion I drew from this observation was that as a group, Floridian hunters tend to be somewhat more horizontally challenged than their northern brethren.